While often overlooked, Raikou can still be a good option for a team. Raikou has a nice Special Attack stat as well as a great Speed stat that lets it outspeed important Pokemon, such as Tornadus and Latios. Raikou's main problem is the severe amount of competition it faces for a teamslot from other Electric-types. Thundurus has Prankster, granting it priority on moves such as Thunder Wave and Taunt, Rotom-W has a useful Water typing that lets it act as a better check to weather based teams, and Zapdos has access to Tailwind, allowing it to grant speed control to its teammates. In addition, all of the aforementioned Pokemon possess an immunity to Ground-type moves. Thankfully, Raikou has a move of its own that lets it find a niche—Snarl. Due to Snarl's rarity, Raikou is one of the premier users of it in the tier, giving it a role that the aforementioned Electric-types cannot fill. In addition, Raikou also has a broad offensive movepool with moves such as Aura Sphere and Weather Ball, although their event distribution forces Raikou to use a Rash nature. Even in a tier filled with other great Electric-types, Raikou is worth considering for a teamslot.
With this set, Raikou can use its great Speed and Special Attack to threaten the opponent, while also acting as a nice check to opposing special attackers. Thunderbolt is the STAB move of choice as it lets Raikou deal heavy damage to bulky Water-types such as Jellicent, and Pokemon such as Tornadus, while granting Raikou nice neutral coverage across the board. Hidden Power Ice is used in the second slot to hit Pokemon that resist or are immune to Thunderbolt, such as Latios, Salamence, Landorus-T, and Garchomp, for super effective damage. It also forms a pseudo BoltBeam combination with Thunderbolt, giving Raikou impeccable coverage. Snarl might seem like a strange move on an offensive set, but it allows Raikou to handle special attackers. Since you can stack Special Attack drops with Snarl, Raikou has no problem whittling down the offenses of even the strongest special attackers until they can barely scratch Raikou. This can be very problematic for your opponent, especially if their team relies on multiple special attackers. Light Screen is a secondary option if you don't want your opponent to be able to switch out and remove their stat drops, but doesn't like Snarl does. In addition, it doesn't do damage, which would otherwise be nice to pick off weakened Pokemon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Aura Sphere can be useful to give Raikou a way to hit Tyranitar for major damage, while hitting Heatran and Ferrothorn for super effective damage as well. A set with Weather Ball could be an interesting option, but Weather Ball isn't a very reliable option, especially when weather the changes frequently in the tier. Additionally, both of the previously mentioned moves have the drawback of forcing Raikou into using a Rash nature, due to them being event moves. A way to take advantage of this is to make Raikou shiny so you can fool your opponent into thinking you are using an event move. A set with Rain Dance and Thunder can be useful on rain teams to act as a weather changer, but since Raikou has trouble with common weather inducers, such as Tyranitar and Abomasnow, this set might not function very well. Volt Switch can be a nice option to gain momentum while dishing out damage, but the fact that it forces Raikou out can be annoying when you need Raikou to stay in and attack more than once.
Sunny Day can be a useful option since Raikou can then threaten Water-types further, while not being hampered itself by the presence of sun. Reflect can be a nice option to cushion damage from physical hits, but Raikou is typically better off using either Snarl or Light Screen, and having a Pokemon with Intimidate on its team. Psych Up can be useful to copy stat boosts from Pokemon such as Volcarona and Manaphy, but is highly situational. Sitrus Berry can be decent to grant Raikou extra survivability, but it is typically better served by another item choice. Quash can be an interesting option as a form of pseudo-Speed control, especially due to Raikou's high Speed. Thanks to Raikou's high Speed, Special Attack, and great coverage, a Choice set can be a good option to deal more damage or surprise opponents expecting to outspeed Raikou. Thunder Wave can be used to grant Speed control, but then Raikou becomes difficult to justify using instead of Thundurus.
Checks and Counters
Tyranitar can easily switch into Raikou—as long as Raikou lacks Aura Sphere—and proceed to strike back with a STAB Crunch or Rock Slide. The fact that Tyranitar gets a 50% Special Defense boost from the sandstorm it summons makes it even more of a threat, as Raikou will barely be able to scratch it. Ground-type Pokemon, such as Garchomp, Excadrill, Mamoswine, Rhyperior, and Landorus, are immune to Thunderbolt and can KO Raikou with a STAB-boosted Earthquake. Most of them must be wary of a Hidden Power Ice though. Mamoswine is an especially good answer for this reason, as Thick Fat and its Ice typing lets it resist Hidden Power Ice as well, while still being able to hit hard with Earthquake. Rhyperior is also excellent since its ability, Lightningrod, allows it to redirect Raikou's Thunderbolts, severely hampering Raikou's effectiveness. Grass-type Pokemon, such as Amoonguss and Virizion, can take a hit from Raikou and either use Spore or strike back, respectively. Amoonguss can even use Rage Powder to redirect Thunderbolts, which it will take little damage from due to a natural resistance to Electric-type attacks, and great bulk. It also has Regenerator to shake off any damage Raikou manages to deal to it. Dragon-types, such as Latios, Latias, Kyurem, Kyurem-B, and Hydreigon, have no problem taking a Thunderbolt and can live through a Hidden Power Ice. Kyurem and Kyurem-B are especially notable since they are only hit neutrally by Hidden Power Ice. Most of them do not appreciate a Special Attack drop from Snarl, though. Gastrodon and Swampert are immune to Thunderbolt, are hit neutrally by Hidden Power Ice, and can strike back with Earth Power and Earthquake, respectively, but must be careful of Hidden Power Grass. Powerful Choice Scarf users, such as Chandelure and Kyurem, can easily outspeed Raikou and either KO or cripple it. Rotom-H resists every move Raikou commonly carries, and can hit it with a STAB-boosted Overheat. However, between Overheat stat drops and Snarl drops, Rotom-H will quickly stop being able to threaten it.
Volt Absorb is useful since it grants an extra immunity and gives Raikou a way to regain HP. It can be useful on Rain teams that are threatened by powerful Electric-type attacks. In addition, it allows Raikou to take on Thundurus very easily, as it is immune to Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave, resists Hidden Power Flying, doesn't mind Hidden Power Ice or Taunt, and outspeeds Thundurus. Also, Pressure is not a very useful ability in Doubles, since the shorter game length compared to Singles means the reduced PP rarely becomes an issue.